Everyone wants a great deal. The best deal. A killer deal. As real estate agents we sometimes see them. We are sometimes involved in them. We want all of our buyers to get them. But, we need you to listen to us and maybe, just maybe, we can get you one. Here's a few tips on getting the very best price and maybe even a killer deal!
1. Get pre-approved
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go into a deal not knowing what you can afford. Don’t even begin looking at homes until you have this behind you. You could waste precious time of yours and your real estate agent by looking at homes that are over your budget. The opposite is also true. You could end up getting a house you "like" instead of one you "love" if you are fearful of spending too much when you can really afford it. Annie Maloney has a great article on "Why your Realtor wants you to get pre-approved before looking at property".
2. Decide what you want and where it should be.
Make your wish list slowly and methodically. What is important and a must have? Be reasonable, but get what you want because you probably want to stay in this house at least 5 years. Location is so important as well. Choose the areas that suit your families needs in terms of distance to work and school and don’t deviate from these areas.
3. Pick an experienced hardworking agent.
Being an experienced and hardworking agent, I know firsthand how important this is. If we as agents don’t move fast when a great deal comes on the market, it’s gone within days. We owe it to our customers to be diligently watching the market for that special house in that special neighborhood at that special price. Truth be known many great deals don’t even make it to the MLS and if they do, they don’t stay around very long. Hard work doesn't stop with the offer, agents need to be involved in the process, keeping it on track and
moving along steadily.
4. Minimal contract contingencies.
Hopefully you can put yourself in a position to make an offer on the house with little to no contingencies. This means don’t ask the seller to close the house three months from now when the kids are out of school because that suits only your needs. Ideally, you don't want to even put a contingency for your own house closing first if at all possible. If you are buying and selling you are wise to get your old home in tip-top shape and price it right. Don’t kid yourself that someone is going to overpay for your house while you underpay for the next house. It doesn't happen.
5. Offer a good deposit.
When you put in the offer go in with a substantial deposit. This will make you look better in the seller’s eyes by showing good faith. Seller’s want to know you are serious and not playing games and that you have the where-with-all to make good on your commitment to buy the home.
6. Be realistic about your opening offer.
Last but not least, be realistic and reasonable with your opening offer. Offering a low ball offer harms the sale and makes you look bad. Let your agent help you with comps of sold properties in the area and really consider this opening offer before you blow the deal. Going in too low is a big mistake, many sellers just ignore it altogether and you might not be able to redeem yourself if you have insulted them.
Here's to your success!